So how is it possible that these minnows are able to take on and potentially beat the major players at their own game? Enter a new breed of startup accelerators such as Highway1, TechStars (R/GA) and Haxlr8r, Hardware.co and AlphaLab Gear. They add value by speeding up the time it takes for startups to get their product to market. This process is much more complex for hardware startups than for software startups. Beyond the standard fare offered by accelerators such as seed investment, office space, mentorship and networks, hardware accelerators also offer equipment and machinery to bring hardware devices to life. They also offer deep industry knowledge relating to supply chain, distribution and the hugely challenging process of manufacturing at scale which often involves dealing with Chinese suppliers and manufacturers. Although not a dedicated hardware accelerator, YCombinator is still a major force in the startup landscape.
Others that are jumping on the bandwagon include Bolt and Dragon Innovations, both US based, that offer prototyping services as well as assistance with manufacturing and commercialisation.
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